In a reversal of Saturday’s results, the Maryland baseball team bounced back to take the rubber game in their series with Duke handling the Blue Devils by a final of 4-1 while the softball team fell short in their attempt to sweep the UNC Tar Heels dropping the third game of that series 8-1.
By taking both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Terps opened the possibility of an unlikely sweep of the Tar Heels. Unlikely because North Carolina entered the weekend with the second best record in the ACC and because their top pitcher, who the Terps rocked for nine runs on Saturday, entered the weekend with a 27-11 record and an ERA under two and a half runs per game. And such was the case that the rhythm and effectiveness she didn’t have on Saturday she recaptured on Sunday. She was aided by a quick star on the offensive end by the Tar Heels as they broke out to 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two run home run by their catcher. The hole became deeper for Maryland in the second as Carolina added three more runs including a leadoff homer off the bat of the UNC first baseman. And while the Terrapins managed to put runners on second and third with two out in the bottom of the second, by the end of the Tar Heels third, the score was 6-0 The Terps managed to put runners on base in the fourth and fifth innings but couldn’t break through on the scoreboard until the sixth when Lindsey Schmeiser and Lexi Carroll sandwiched a pair of doubles around a fly out by catcher Shannon Bustillos. Carolina added two in the top of the seventh for the final seven run margin. The Terps finish their season with a three game set when the take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg beginning Saturday. Depending on the outcome of this series, Maryland can finish anywhere from second to fifth in the league. A sweep, however, of the Hokies would put the Terps in sole possession of second place in the ACC heading into the ACC Tournament in Tallahassee.
Meanwhile, in Durham, the Terps got a strong effort on the mound from junior Jake Stinnett who held Duke to just five hits in a 4-1 thrashing of the Blue Devils. After Saturday’s offensive outburst, Sunday’s game was shaping up to resemble Friday’s pitcher’s duel as each pitcher held the teams scoreless through four. Duke broke the ice in the home half of the fifth off a double and an RBI single nut Maryland bounced right back to take the lead in the top of the sixth. Jose Cuas started the Terrapin rally with a one out double to left center. Charlie White singled to center with Cuas holding at third. Jordan Hagel then lofted a 1-2 pitch to deep center driving in Cuas with White taing second on the play at the plate. White then came around to score the go ahead run on LaMonte Wade’s single. Although two runs would be all Stinnett needed, the Terps added insurance tallies in the seventh and ninth. The run in the seventh came courtesy of some heady base running by Andrew Amaro. Amaro drove a one out single through the right side of the infield and took second on a wild pitch. When Duke’s catcher mishandled the third strike to Jack Cleary, Amaro moved up to third on the play at first. He scored on a passed ball. The Terrapins final run came in the top of the ninth. Kevin Martir led off with a ground single to right and advanced to second on Anthony Papio’s bunt. Amaro walked and was forced at second on Cleary’s grounder to short. Martir took third as the Blue Devils were unable to turn the double play. Duke’s reliever uncorked a wild pitch and Martir scored. Stinnett retired the side in order and Maryland left Durham having taken two of three from Duke. The Terps improved their record to 25-21 on the season and 8-16 in the ACC. Towson travels to College Park for a scheduled Tuesday game before the Terps take to the road for a Wednesday rematch against Liberty in Lynchburg.
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)